« worldwide club guide: dos and don’ts | Main | worldwide club guide: jakarta »

worldwide club guide: full moon parties

full moon party

One of the biggest NYE parties this 09/10 took place on a tiny Thai island called Koh Pha Ngan. The year changed on the very night there was a full moon – and if you know clubbing at all, you know that Koh Pha Ngan is famous for its wild full moon parties – so this was a truly cosmic coincidence. Over 50,000 locals and travelers converged on the beautiful Haad Rin beach to dance in moonlight and welcome the first dawn of 2010.

A little history: the first Koh Pha Ngan full moon party was a casual gathering of around 30 travelers in 1985. The parties grew by word of mouth and now tens of thousands of people party under the full moon every month – these events are one of Thailand’s top attractions for traveling party animals, so make sure you book your hotel room in advance unless you want to end up sleeping on the beach (which is admittedly not that bad a scenario).

All the bars on the sunrise beach of Haad Rin town stay open all night and if you're not dancing you're one of the minority. DJs spin R&B, drum and bass, house, trance and reggae but music isn't just dance-related, there are live bands as well. Fire skipping ropes and BUCKETS of alcohol are part of the fun but I think the real appeal lies in meeting diverse party people from all over the world. If you miss the full moon, don’t worry – Koh Pha Ngan now boasts 'half-moon' parties, as well. Any excuse for a party!

The full moon party phenomenon is not exclusive to Thailand. Cambodia’s best full moon parties can be found in the coastal city of Sihanoukville. There are fire shows, alcoholic drinks and music and dancing on the beach until dawn. It’s a more intimate and cheaper alternative to the madness of Koh Pha Ngan – especially for those who claim (unfairly) that Koh Pha Ngan has been 'spoilt' by becoming too popular.

There are also great full moon parties on the beaches of Goa, India. Anjuna Beach is one of the best locations as there are many bars, restaurants and clubs that spill over onto the sand. The people are friendly, the food is delicious and clubs stay open all night. So famous are Goa full moon parties that an entire genre – Goa Trance – was born from them

In Bali, full moon (known locally as purnama) has always been a special day for religious festivities. In the evenings, Balinese streets fill with pilgrims going to temples to make offerings. My advice is to join in these local traditions then head to full moon parties in the Kuta/Seminyak area. A profusion of bars and clubs stay open all night with good music and a great atmosphere.


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (1)

Anytime I read a travel piece I am ready to book a ticket. I'm such a sucker for any cultural experience. Sounds amazing! I've done Europe, much of Asia, and North Africa. Hands down my favorite trip was a food and wine tour to Tuscany. Really had the time of my life and it's like every local is there to help you enjoy. Next trip you should check it out.

January 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMonica David

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.